Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break, or the Era of Yard Work

Spring Break has arrived!

Truth be told, I would have preferred to use a bit of spring break to make up our snow days, but here it is, intact, and as luck would have it, really darn nice in terms of weather. (Although I know better.  I remember one spring break where we went from 85 to 18 in one day.)

Actually the week before break was amazingly warm and spring-like, to the point that the kids were wild (ah, the sap rises and so do the hormones).  They were excited about break, excited about warm weather, and excited about just about anything aside from doing work.  They also were all wacked out about the time change and couldn't quite seem to get with the program this week.

A few highlights...and lowlights.

We had our reward party on Friday for the kids who didn't have a single discipline referral for the previous nine weeks.  Basically it was a dance with prizes and food and fun stuff during their 2nd related arts period.  One of my darlings got into a tussle with another kid at the REWARD party and managed to end up in ISS (and who knows what else).  The irony of kids getting in a fight at a party for being good just kills me.

Dennis the Menace has returned and he's like a new kid.  Granted, Mom has him on meds now and he's already learned that he'll be expelled if he screws up, but honestly, I think there's more to it than that.  He's matured.  He even looks a little different - the greasy hair and acne of a kid who's just been slapped upside the head by Puberty - and he's a lot more calm.  He doesn't get pulled into other kids' drama, does his work, follows directions, and is polite and well-mannered and just wonderful.  All the teachers on the Team have noticed it and have commented as much to The Principal and to Dennis' mom.

Anyhow, he's been here for about a month (and hasn't had a single write up for ANYTHING) and when the names of kids who couldn't go to the reward party were released, he wasn't on it - which meant he could go. The problem is, he thought he shouldn't be allowed to go because, after all, he had been in alternative school for part of the nine weeks and had had a write-up while there, so as far as he was concerned, he couldn't go.

He's in my homeroom, and sits right in front, so we'd talked a bit and I said I'd find out for sure if he could go or not.  Because, this kid, out of all of them deserved to go.  So basically, I went to The Principal and said I thought he deserved to go...and she agreed.

The best part of my day on Friday was telling Dennis that he could go to the party.  You would have thought I'd given him a winning lottery ticket.  His face lit up and he was so happy.  And this is the best part - he came back from the party and thanked me for seeing that he could go.  (You have got to be kidding...a kid thanking a teacher?  How rare is that!?)  He told me about the whole thing, what he bought with his reward dollars, the music, and just how much fun it was.

Made my day.

So, for Spring Break I am not doing anything remotely exciting.  I went and got Daddy Bird, spent a day at his place cleaning up, and now he's here at our place for a couple of weeks.  He can drive (doctor said he could) but I don't think any of us want him driving long distances yet.  However, the pacemaker seems to be ticking along just fine and he's doing a great job supervising my yard work.

I have tons of yard work to do, it being spring and all.  The list will blow your mind.  Today was pruning roses day and digging up a rose bush that hasn't bloomed for a few years (you give me nothing but thorns and I'm getting rid of you).  I have shrubs to trim back, yard to feed, winter debris to get rid of,  early spring veggies to plant, and on and on.  I don't know if I'll get it all done, but I'll try.

And then there's taxes to do.

But at least I can sleep in.


Rho said...

About the time change: here in Ohio, the intelligent, far-thinking, accountable powers in Columbus decided that the OGT's were to be administered last week.
And they want to use those scores to evaluate teachers? It takes me time to adjust in the spring; my sophomores were really having trouble with it and 2 1/2 hours of testing every morning for that week.

ChiTown Girl said...

It was so nice to read about Dennis. Let's pray this turn around is permanent. :)